The Center for Public Theology features the engagement of a secular order with the riches of confessional theology. The resulting collision of these worlds we call “public theology,” for here we consider how biblical doctrine speaks to the major issues of the public square. Our attempt is directly Augustinian, for we members of the city of God address the city of man in our engagement.
The CPT, a project of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, takes a broad range of matters as its purview. Here, we will delve into issues of theology, ethics, culture-making, politics, worldview, economics, and more. The CPT, previously led by its first director, Dr. Owen Strachan, is now planning for future leadership. The CPT is not a think-tank in a vat. It derives its mission from the charter of Midwestern Seminary and seeks to be “for the church” in all its work. As the expression of this great aim, the CPT generates content and hosts events that will aid God’s people in their efforts to bring truth to bear on the public square.
The CPT has a special goal of strengthening the hand of ministers–and other ministry leaders—for it believes that the key role in Christ’s kingdom is the pastor-theologian. The pastor-theologian exists to mediate the hope, wisdom, and power that is “in Christ” to the people of God. In this grand task, the pastor recognizes sound doctrine as his friend, not his foe, and thus preaches the whole counsel of God in order to display the beauty of God in in a postmodern, fractious, secularizing age.
In all this work, the CPT seeks to be “against the world for the world,” in the transformative formulation of Richard John Neuhaus, a maxim adopted by Chuck Colson in his own public-square ministry. Figures like Carl Henry, Francis Schaeffer, and Abraham Kuyper motivate and energize the leadership of the CPT, encouraging the modern church to press forward into the court of public opinion, to make the case afresh for the glory and resilience of the biblical mind, and to continually promote the power of the gospel of Christ to deconstruct the fallen sinner and reconstruct the human person.